Sutter Health Lays off 72 at San Francisco Hospital


Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center said it is closing St. Luke’s skilled nursing and sub-acute unit, a move that will leave 72 nurses and nursing assistants without work. In a letter sent to employees of the San Francisco-based hospital, the layoff will take place in August and the entire unit will close on October 31. In addition to killing 72 jobs, the closure will also impact approximately 44 patients.

St. Luke’s has struggled financially of late, accumulating approximately $30.0 million in annual losses and was taken over by Sutter Health in 1999.

In a letter to employees, Edward Battista, vice president of human resources, said that, “California Pacific Medical Center (“CMPC”) has made the difficult decision to close the Skilled Nursing Facility at the St. Luke’s Campus, which includes both Skilled Nursing and Subacute.”

“Because of this closure, CPMC will be eliminating the positions of all individuals employed in the Skilled Nursing Facility at the St. Luke’s Campus. These reductions are expected to be permanent. As a result, your current position with CMPC will be eliminated,” Battista wrote.


News of the layoffs had been expected as the hospital transitions to a new $600.0-million campus scheduled to open in early 2019. Back in September 2016, construction on the new $2.1-billion California Pacific Medical Center hit the halfway milestone. St. Luke’s is moving away from sub-acute care and may transfer or eliminate other services as well. Instead, it will focus its efforts on more acute, short-term care.

“CPMC has assembled a team to work with patients and their families and our community partners to ensure a smooth transition to a care facility of their choice,” said utter Health spokesman Dean Fryer in an e-mail. “CPMC is also working with staff members who are impacted by the closure, and their union representatives, to identify various options including job retraining, alternative placement within CPMC as well as or other opportunities.”

Layoffs and closures are becoming a regular story in U.S. healthcare. Earlier in June, NYC Health + Hospitals slashed 476 management positions in an effort to save $60.0 million in the next fiscal year. In fiscal 2017, the hospital lost $776.0 million.

Three other hospitals recently closed or are on the verge of closing because of issues with reimbursement.

Sutter Health plans closure of St. Luke’s nursing unit, laying off 72 workers,” San Francisco Business Times, June 15, 2017.

Closure of SNF and Subacute, United Healthcare Workers West, June 6, 2017.

NYC Health + Hospitals cuts 476 positions amid financial pressure, Healthcare Dive, June 2, 2017.

4 recent hospital closures, layoffs related to reimbursement woes, Healthcare Dive, June 6, 2017.